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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 September, 2003, 09:08 GMT 10:08 UK
Eritrea firm over disputed border ruling
Badme village
Badme - the flashpoint that started the war
Eritrea has rejected an Ethiopian call for the United Nations to find alternative ways to resolve the border dispute between the two countries.

The Eritrean representative in Addis Ababa, Saleh Omar, told the BBC Network Africa programme that the Ethiopian proposal was a grave turn of events.

He said the international community should put pressure on Ethiopia to accept the ruling by the international boundary commission in the dispute that centres on the village of Badme, which the commission awarded to Eritrea.

Ethiopia has said that it wants a new commission set up to rule on what it sees as the contested areas of its border with Eritrea.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the Hague-based Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission was in terminal crisis.

War

Mr Meles now says it is unimaginable for the Ethiopian people to accept "a blatant miscarriage of justice" particularly over the award of Badme to Eritrea which he says was "illegal, unjust and irresponsible".

He also warns that the commission's decision could lead to "another round of war" and therefore the United Nations has an obligation to get involved.

The border between the two countries is manned by more than 4,000 UN peacekeepers. Ethiopia and Eritrea fought the border war from 1998 to 2000 and an estimated 70,000 people died.

After chairing military talks between the two sides last week, UN force commander General Robert Gordon warned that the peacekeeping operation risked ending in failure unless speedy steps were taken to mark the border.




SEE ALSO:
UN warns of Horn failure
18 Sep 03  |  Africa
Crucial Horn border talks
17 Sep 03  |  Africa
Q&A: The Horn's bitter war
12 Apr 02  |  Africa
UN to renew Ethiopia mandate
12 Sep 03  |  Africa
Horn peace 'losing momentum'
10 Sep 03  |  Africa
Eritrea warns Ethiopia on border
04 Apr 03  |  Africa
Border a geographer's nightmare
12 May 00  |  Africa


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